Power plant cuts: no risk on the electricity network for the moment

Power plant cuts: no risk on the electricity network for the moment

Since last Friday, well ahead of the big day of mobilization on Tuesday against the pension reform bill, the CGT has launched walkouts at several nuclear power plants, thermal and hydraulic systems in the country. A means of protest already used several times during past protest movements.

“The EDF strikers thus withdrew 15,000 megawatts (MW) from the electricity network this Wednesday afternoon”, explains Sébastien Menesplier, the secretary general of the CGT Energy. Due to somewhat different calculation methods (much like the count of the number of demonstrators between the police and trade unions during the demonstrations), EDF for its part evokes a “loss of power” of 7,447 MW. While RTE reported 5,300 MW on Wednesday morning.

The action of the strikers temporarily interrupted

As electricity cannot be stored, the manager of the high voltage lines has the heavy responsibility of ensuring in real time the balance between supply (production by the power stations, or imports) and demand (consumption ) electricity. If production proves to be insufficient during a walkout in the power stations, RTE has the regulatory possibility, in the name of the security of the network and the country’s supply, of ordering the strikers to temporarily interrupt their action in order to compensate for the drop in production.

“This is what we did for example this morning (Wednesday), we explain at RTE headquarters. From 5 a.m., we sent a message to the power stations concerned to request a drop stop in order to pass the morning peak, between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. This is what is known in the jargon as a post a. »

Wild cuts are on the rise

But if the safety margins were still a little more undermined, RTE would also have the possibility of sending a “message B”, which gives the order this time, not only to interrupt the blockage, but also to go up production up to the level initially planned. “This in no way contravenes the right to strike, but never puts the balance of the network in question”, specifies the manager again. The efforts of sobriety of the French, which have contributed to reducing electricity consumption by 9% over the last four weeks compared to the years 2014-2019, also make their task easier.

Wild power cuts also continue to multiply throughout the country: an Amazon depot near Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) was notably targeted on Wednesday, according to Enedis; as well as the sub-prefecture of Brignoles in the Var, and renewable energy producers in Corrèze and Allier. The day before, it was the town of Annonay (Ardèche), stronghold of Minister Olivier Dussopt, as well as the permanence of the President of the Senate Gérard Larcher, in Rambouillet (Yvelines), which had been targeted.

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